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Saturday, May 21, 2022

It isn’t always easy to hear the truth.

Sometimes it is shocking; other times it is unsurprising.

Either way, it’s often unavoidable.

I’m beginning to believe Tim Tebow isn’t suited to be an NFL quarterback.

That might be one of the most unpopular thoughts in this town, but it is something Gators fans might need to come to terms with. Regardless of where he gets drafted in April, his pro prospects aren’t very bright.

And while I could be wrong, before you start cursing my name, why don’t you think about why you’re so certain he will succeed at the next level?

In his first “pro” setting at Saturday’s Senior Bowl, Tebow completed 8 of 12 passes for 50 yards. He rushed four times for a net of 4 yards. He fumbled twice: once in his throwing motion and once on a run (only one was lost, though). His longest completion was 11 yards. He led the South team on five drives that resulted in three points.

None of it should be that surprising.

He was playing with strep throat. He was playing with a new center and a line that struggled all game. He had only one week to get used to the receivers, and the wideouts didn’t do the best job of making Tebow look good.

So if we’re judging on a really generous scale, let’s say  Saturday’s performance was average.

Now, let’s go back to his three years as a college starter. We’ll use that to evaluate his pro potential.

Oh wait — he became one of the best players in college football history in a spread offense that maximizes his strengths (and really doesn’t give any idea of how he’ll fare in the NFL).

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But, some say, Tebow will succeed in the NFL as long as a pro franchise works its entire offense around him.

You know why that is so easy to believe?

Because it hasn’t been proven wrong yet, and it can’t be proven wrong unless a team drafts him and tweaks its entire offensive philosophy for him.

The 6-foot-2, 236-pound quarterback was great in college at picking up crucial yards on the ground and bowling over people.

That doesn’t seem like a skill that will translate when going up against quicker and stronger players in the pros.

He showed this season that he is often slow reading defenses. Combine that with a less-than-speedy delivery, and NFL defensive backs will feast on his throws.

But he has all the intangibles, you say.

You’re right, he does have the “it” factor.

That won’t make his throws any crisper. It won’t make him any quicker. It won’t make him a better decision-maker in the pocket.

Intangibles take a pretty good quarterback and make him great. They can allow a player to raise the level of his teammates.

They won’t make him any better at the physical task of being a quarterback.

I really like Tebow. I think he has been great for the college game, and I admire him for being a really great person, someone who never snapped despite all the pressures at Florida. But none of that makes him any more qualified to be a NFL quarterback.

The truth isn’t always easy to swallow.

That doesn’t make it any less true.

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